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Islanders vs. Flyers: Bellows returns, unshaven [Game #23]

The Islanders aim to keep rolling at the expense of wounded and weakened visitors.

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Sutter And Marsh Hit The Boards
Eighties, living in the eighties.
Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images

The New York Islanders host the listing Philadelphia Flyers at home tonight, aiming for a third consecutive win against an opponent that hasn’t won since Nov. 8.

In goal, it’s expected to be a battle of the backups, with Semyon Varlamov opposite Felix Sandstrom, who evidently is tasked with covering for Carter Hart these days.

Sounds like Kyle Palmieri remains “day to day,” per Andrew Gross quoting Lane Lambert, which presumably means the team will keep him out for Simon Holmstrom (unless they think they need Ross Johnston for physical activity against a desperate opponent?).

The Flyers are winless in nine, 1-6-3 in their last 10, and generally in sorry shape.

They are without Travis Konecny and Cam Atkinson, as well as long-term IR residents Ryan Ellis, James van Riemsdyk, Sean Couturier, Scott Laughton, and someone named Wade Allison. It really is ridiculous, the injury scourge they’ve faced — and if they weren’t in the Metro, I’d say karma should favor them as winner of the draft lottery this spring.

Because of all that, they do have Kieffer Bellows, who played a lot yesterday but remains pointless. (So surely this is breakout game, right?) He’s also noticeably enjoying being free of the follicle-restrictions imposed by Lou Lamoriello, as photos of him in a Flyers uniform show him revealing some — ye gods, the horror! — facial hair.

This quote probably sounds harsher than its true meaning: What kind of player is Kieffer Bellows? (And is he mobile enough to do that?)

Bellows says all the right things though, is appreciative of Lou’s honesty, and wishes his old team well:

Enjoy the hockey, wherever you may be. It’s ‘80s Night at the Coliseum Elmont, so look for fun graphics, various promotions, and proper uniforms, I reckon.